Brussels, 2 March 2006
A code of good practice has been developed by the livestock breeding industry, designed to ensure maximum openness and clarity about the practices used in farm animal breeding and reproduction. This code, developed with the support of the European research Framework Programme, will be presented today at the “Salon d’Agriculture” in Paris, at the launch of the sustainable farm animal breeding and reproduction technology platform. The intention is that breeding companies will adopt the code and will gain certification for complying with it. The objective is to deliver high standards of animal health and welfare in sustainable production systems that can deliver high quality and safe food. The code is available in 20 languages and will be updated regularly.
The Code of Good Practice for Farm Animal Breeding and Reproduction has been developed though Code-EFABAR, a €300,000 project funded from the EU research programme. It builds on the experience gained in two previous EU projects, ‘Farm Animal Breeding and Society’ and SEFABAR (Sustainable European Farm Animal Breeding And Reproduction). All of these projects have involved animal breeders, animal breeding scientists, consumer groups, biotechnologists, ethicists, sociologists, animal welfare experts, legal experts and economists working together on ways to improve the understanding between animal breeding organisations and society at large in order to develop acceptable scenarios for sustainable animal breeding and reproduction.
The general objective of Code-EFABAR has been to develop the code for farm animal breeding and reproduction organisations (mainly SMEs). Opinions from NGOs as representatives of society have been taken into account from the beginning of the project and the code is freely available from the web site for anyone interested in the subject. The code will be formally certified by a certification body and includes a training package.
The code will be launched, together with the sustainable Farm Animal Breeding and Reproduction European Technology Platform (FABRE-TP) at the “Salon d’Agriculture” in Paris today, where it is anticipated that at least 10 organisations will confirm their intention to adopt the code. FABRE-TP itself will present a vision of how sustainable farm animal breeding and reproduction will develop over the next 20 years and what research will be needed to achieve this vision.
The 6th Framework Programme has made significant support available
to research relating to the sustainable breeding and production of farm animals.
Current funding runs at over €25million. EADGENE, a major network of
excellence on the genomics of host-pathogen interactions in farm animals, was
funded in 2004 and SABRE, an integrated project on fundamental genomics of farm
animals, is expected to begin later this year. Genomics technologies promise to
have a major impact on animal selection and on breeding in general. In addition,
mindful of the need to address the concerns of European citizens on the
management of animals and the safety of the food supply, the EU supports
projects such as Code-EFABAR to make sure that progress is acceptable and